Welcome to the Wolfe's Neck Farm Teen Ag and CSA share newsletter, written by Teen Ag Crew member Maya Bradbury. This weekly newsletter provides information about the produce you can look forward to receiving in your CSA share, a recipe or two, and any bits of information we think you might find interesting.

Thank you so much for your support of this program. Enjoy! 
CSA Pickup Day Details
Tomorrow is the first CSA Pickup Day! We are excited to share our fresh and organic produce with you this summer. You will be receiving a basket with your CSA share in it each week. It is important to return your basket at each weekly pickup so we can prepare for the next week.

CSA pickups will occur weekly on  Thursdays from 2:00-5:30 PM . If you are unable to come during this time, please let us know and we will make it accessible in the refrigerator at the  Farm Stand.

If you need to pick up early on a CSA day, please contact Richard at teenag@wolfesneckfarm.org at least 24 hours in advance.
Meet the 2017 Teen Ag Crew!
This year we have six Teen Ag Crew members helping to grow, cultivate, and harvest the produce for your CSA shares. We have three newcomers to the team: Drake Mascal, who graduated from Brunswick High School this spring and plans to attend Southern Maine Community College; Whitney Smith, a  junior at Baxter Academy; and Sadie Southall, a sophomore at Freeport High School.
Liane, Sadie, Whitney, Maya, Drake (Not pictured: Lilly)
Our returning members include second year crew members Maya Bradbury, a senior at Freeport High School and Lillian Kuhn, who will start her first year at Middlebury College in the fall, as well as third-year member Liane Rolls, a sophomore at College of the Atlantic.

And of course leading the team are Richard Hodges, Teen Ag Coordinatorand Thomas Prohl, Production Educator, who have run the program since 2015.

This Week's Basket
The produce in this week's basket includes:

  • Cilantro
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Kale
  • Salad Mix
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Bok Choy
Recipe of the Week: Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp
Ingredients (serves 6) :
Fresh strawberries and rhubarb

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons anise seed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb rhubarb
  • 1/2 quart strawberries
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 400*
  • Using a food processor, mix brown sugar and flour together.
  • Add butter and anise seed, then mix until pea-size chunks form and crumbs hold together. Set aside
  • Trim off rough ends of rhubarb and cut into 1-inch lengths. Remove stems on strawberries and cut into quarters. Place rhubarb and strawberries in a bowl. Add lemon juice, zest, and sugar, then toss gently. 
  • Place rhubarb-strawberry mixture in a 9-inch pie pan or an 8x8 pan. Cover with brown sugar-anise topping and bake 45 minutes, or until fruit juices are bubbling.
Recipe of the Week: Garlic Scape Pesto
Ingredients
  • 8-12 garlic scapes, with the bulb removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup (lightly packed) clean and dry basil leaves or cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup (or more depending on how thick you want your pesto) of olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Method:
Add garlic scapes, basil and salt to the large bowl of a food processor. Start processing, adding oil slowly. Stop processing and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Once a smooth paste has been achieved, add Parmesan cheese and process until completely mixed in.  Stop processing and add all of the nuts. Pulse processor until nuts are roughly chopped and fully mixed in. This gives the pesto a great texture.

Storage Suggestions:
  • Put in an airtight container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil. Will keep refrigerated for a week or two.
  • Spoon garlic scape pesto into ice cube trays. When cubes are frozen, remove and transfer to a plastic freezer bag.

What's Happening in the Field
From cultivating to planting to moving the mobile high tunnel greenhouse, we've been busy! With such a wet spring, planting was set back due to a pond taking residence in the field during the month of May. With so much moisture in our clay soils, half of the field could not be accessed for planting.
Now that the field is dried out and ready to grow, we have transplanted tomatoes, sunflowers, and kale from the greenhouse, as well as direct seeding beans, carrots, beets and many of your other favorite veggies! 

On the other side of the field, our new strawberry plants are exploding with ripe red berries. We've also planted sweet potatoes in the High Tunnel, where they will flourish with the extra warmth and humidity that a greenhouse provides. 
The High Tunnel Greenhouse's Big Move
As spring turned to summer here at the farm, it became time to move the mobile high tunnel greenhouse. The mobility of the greenhouse allows us to manage healthier soils and prevent pest pressure while enabling crop successions. All winter long it has protected cold weather crops: kale, carrots, and spinach. The season extension project was launched so Wolfe's Neck could continue to donate to local food pantries throughout the winter, when fresh produce becomes scarce.
Now that the sun is out and short winter days turn to long summer ones, the high roller is ready to shelter a new batch of produce by acting as a tropical micro-climate. We are growing sweet potatoes, a tropical root vegetable, and the kale and spinach will be tilled and remade with fresh and nutrient-rich soil so that they are ready to grow again next winter. 
Tom Talk: Early Season Production in Maine
By Tom Prohl, Production Educator

When growing vegetables here in the great state of Maine, it’s all about season extension. We have one of the shortest growing seasons in all of the country, with frost dates as late as June and as early as September. This makes crop production in the field more challenging and augments the need for season extension infrastructure. 
In the past two years, the Teen Ag program has built that infrastructure.  In 2015, a seed house was built to allow more space for transplants to be grown, and this year, with support from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care's Healthy Food Fund, we constructed a fully mobile high tunnel hoop house in which we grew spinach, carrots and kale all winter.

The tunnel will also keep us a month ahead in the spring with our crop production. The season is just too short to grow everything from seed. As early as mid-March we get our onions planted in the seed house, followed by tomatoes and then some of our early spring favorites like kale and broccoli. As the temperatures pick up in early May, we go into a seeding frenzy and seed as much as we can, filling the greenhouse with seed trays. This allows us a head start, as soil temperatures in the field need to reach a consistent temperature for many of the warmer season crops. Once they do, we hit the ground running, or planting for that matter.

We are excited for our first summer growing in the mobile greenhouse, as it will offer our crew members an opportunity to compare and contrast field vs. greenhouse production. They will get a chance to study how insect pests develop differently in greenhouse environments, as well as how plants are pruned, trellised and cared for differently in the greenhouse. An exciting year is ahead for the Teen Ag Program!
We Track Data, Too!
One of the major focuses of the Teen Ag Crew this summer is keeping track of crops. For farmers across the world, keeping track of their budgets and profits is essential to a successful business. With this in mind, this season each teen will focus on one specific crop to keep track of. That means recording any amount of work that goes into growing that crop, from forming the beds, planting the crop, weeding it, and harvesting, as well as keeping track of seed cost, fuel for the tractor, row cover, and any other expenses. 
At the end of the season, each crop will be weighed and sold, and the teens will calculate the profitability of the crop using all the data they calculated throughout the growing process. This introduces the teens to the hidden processes of farming so they are aware and able to do this on their own one day.
Wolfe's Neck Farm is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
(207) 865-4469  |  wolfesneckfarm.org